Transferring enable technologies from smart mobility to industry 4.0: Connectivity, Big data and Artificial Intelligence are transforming the mobility of urban traffic, infrastructures and … what about Factories?

Industry 4.0
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The social and economic impact of connectivity, the analysis of large amounts of data and Artificial Intelligence in applications for sustainable mobility is well known. The connectivity of infrastructures with vehicles and travelers through the Internet of Things (IoT), the use of data as a true generator of value in the future of mobility and the application of Artificial Intelligence to facilitate automation will contribute to transform conventional roads into smart ecosystems that facilitate safer, more efficient and sustainable automated real-time traffic management.

Improving the traveler experience, contributing to the drastic reduction of CO2 emissions and a future of zero accidents on the road are the main objectives of this new mobility, according to the Smart Roads Transport Trends Report [1].

However, the importance of intelligent mobility over more efficient production through a more connected and cooperative type of manufacturing is not as well-known at the street level. Any technology that manages to help industrial companies face the new and increasingly complex challenges is welcome. These require increasing pressure on costs, the need to save resources and protect the environment, or the growing demand for highly individualized products. The solution is an intelligent factory, capable of organizing, optimizing and cooperating production itself. In this way, even small quantities can be manufactured efficiently, and companies will be competitive in the markets of the future [2].

If we abstract a bit from the real world, can’t we consider a workshop, a logistics warehouse, a factory or an automated product line as a smart city? I see it!

On the one hand, here are two very clear examples:

  1. In a factory environment where there is a controlled environment and a significant density of processes, it is logical to tell of smart and autonomous mobility. The great variety of technologies that are being developed in the industrial sector could be mentioned, putting as an example in the aeronautical world, multirotor solutions, and in the maritime, the importance of underwater drones for cleaning the hull of ships.
  2. In the commitment that is being made to the digital transformation with the incorporation of the SDV (Self-Driving Vehicles) system against the AGV (Automated Guided Vehicles). Two key dimensions to building strategy are identified because those are the trends, we see in both the AGV and AV industries: automation and connectivity. A clear evolution of the AGV industry is observed to SDV 4.0, which begins to take control [3].

On the other hand, in a less direct or clear way, the evolution of smart mobility within the industry, using IoT and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) can be seen:

  1. More efficient communication: Horizontal and vertical network management of companies. The network management of different business units and departments of the same company (vertical integration) or between companies (horizontal integration) is vital for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The result is new value-added networks, characterized by greater cooperation, coordination and transparency. Digitization is the basis of vertical and horizontal network management. It enables efficient data exchange between agents, machines and parts, both internal and external. It is possible to jointly manage machines, programs and tools, monitor the state of the processing of a product or control the need for maintenance of a machine … anywhere in the world [4].
  2. Flexible and cost-effective production through a smart manufacturing, which relies on CPS. These systems make it possible for machines, resources, and humans to communicate with each other through the Internet of Things. The information is exchanged through the cloud, an intranet or, more directly, using RFID chips. The consequences are obvious: shorter downtimes and machines with a longer service life. All this makes it possible for the smart factory to control itself, in order to produce as efficiently as possible [5].
smart_city_survey
Brief summary of steady growth expected for global smart city market (Source: Deloitte Insights)

The constant exchange of data in the smart factory facilitates an autonomous organization of supply chains. The factory controls the production processes according to needs and, when necessary, adapts them to new requirements. Experts predict a steady increase of smart city development around the world over the next seven years is expected, with the total value of the global smart city market projected to exceed $2.5 trillion by 2025. As this growth continues, one of the most important and dynamic aspects of smart cities is the evolution of the roles and relationships between the key participants involved in envisioning and creating them [6].

In parallel, the market for Industry 4.0 products and services is expected to grow to $310B by 2023. These numbers are based on the state of I4.0 adoption across manufacturing verticals and the analysis of two distinct technological subsets of the I4.0 market: the connected industry building blocks and other I4.0 supporting technologies [7].

industry_40_market
The market for Industry 4.0 products and services from 2017 to 2023 (Source: IoT Analytics – November 2019)

The previous market predictions have attempted to demonstrate how the transfer of enabling technologies from smart mobility to industry 4.0, such as drones/UAVs AND Self-Driving Vehicles along with other more common, such as Connectivity, Big data and Artificial Intelligence, Additive Manufacturing, Augmented & Virtual Reality, Collaborative Robotics and Connected Machines, could impact directly the Industry 4.0 market. Instead, the inverse relationship can also be seen, that is, how smart manufacturing enabling technologies affects to smart mobility. In other words, today it is impossible to see a unique system as a center of the digital revolution, the system of system approach win everyday more believers due to the strong correlations between all the digital society pillars.

In future posts, we will be continue writing about technology and business trends for enterprises. Furthermore, we recommend consulting the following literature to continue your digital transformation journey:

The objective of this blog is to provide a personal vision of how digital transformation trends will be impacting in our daily activities, businesses and lifestyle.

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[1] https://www.indracompany.com/es/ittreport

[2] https://www.hbm.com/es/6436/la-fabrica-inteligente-el-futuro-de-la-produccion-eficiente/

[3] https://www.ptcarretera.es/la-industria-4-0-apuesta-por-la-movilidad-inteligente-gracias-a-la-tecnologia-iot-y-al-big-data/

[4] https://ciudadesdelfuturo.es/bienvenido-al-futuro-fabricas-inteligentes.php

[5] https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/capital-projects-infrastructure/library/future-smart-cities.html

[6] https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/manufacturing/driving-value-smart-factory-technologies.html

[7] https://iot-analytics.com/industry-4-0-and-smart-manufacturing/

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By Fernando Castañolinkedin2

Senior researcher, his research interest includes Smart-sensor, Industry 4.0, Internet of things, and cyber-physical systems.

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